Thursday, February 24, 2011

Can, Bottled, or Tapped


The open road.

It was an early start to a great adverture with loosely knit plans.  The cooler was stocked with some fine Minnesota microbrews from Town Hall, Great Waters, Fitger's, and of course Surly. A hop-filled travel log that was heading east on 94 towards Wisconsin to make rounds of places like New Glarus and Tyranena and maybe discover a few more on the way.

Photo Cred:

The snow finally made its way off the highways and the only thing slowing us down were the notoriously fickle Wisconsin State Troopers who lined every part of the highway from Hudson to Milwaukee.  My wallet was a little fat from some skillful lucky runs in poker so degenerate stops at a few tribal casinos was in order, especially since their poker rooms were allowed to spread no limit unlike the Minnesota rooms were. 

Tree, brews, friends, and most of all, no schedule.  No rigidly formatted APA-approved stamped papers to write, while I would miss their genuine hugs and smiles, no kids to shuffle off to their activity of the night, and no sudden must-make social gatherings to attend.  Just road, fermented hops, poker, and stories that are only told when a gathering of long-time friends meet, much like the yearly sojourn to Vegas for like minded poker writers.

The smell of a great plate of wings with a strong whiff of cayenne peppers and liquid smoke came under my nose as I was just around to dip it in a ranch with sprinkled Lowry's and pepper mixture when... was time to turn off and go north on 169 and head to work in the dark.

Maybe this summer.

Definitely this summer.

But a choice will need to be made as I cannot do both.  A possible trip around cheesehead land in search of great frothy drinks ending with a possible baseball game in Milwaukee or Chicago.  Or taking another low-roller shot at the WSOP with possible backing and see all my writing friends toiling away along press row and setting up some late night hooker bar/pai gow/strip club goodness.

What the future brings it brings as being under a metric ton of snow this winter has left me daydreaming of letting go of my tightly-knit schedule for a week and remembering that while working hard gets you to where you want to go, it doesn't give the destination.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A different kind of recap

The past five days have been a chance to catch up on what has been hovering out me while I do my best Rodney Dangerfield impersonation minus the team of experts to write papers for me and the ability to pull off the triple lindy.

With the ladies doing their thing:

Color me amazed that she sat still for 20 minutes

I took the boy out for a guy's day (alas with no pictures, but a short video coming soon).  First, off a trip to Perkins for a hearty breakfast to soak up any remains of the previous evening's run to another victory in my favorite $5 PLO MTT for $200.  Quick aside on that:  It is now a multi-entry tournament at Full Tilt and while I don't buy all four entries, giving someone with an iota of clue for Omaha and making the final table one in three times (with a field around 250-300) isn't that tough. As seen with the FTOPS Main Event 7 out of 9 players were in for the max (6 entries), only two of them managed to get thru the massive 14K+ field to reach a shot at the $1 million prize (chopped by Blair Hinckle)

Did I have 6 * $640 to maximize my shot at a win?  Hell no, at least I wouldn't put out a good HUGE chunk of my bankroll to do so.  But, I DO have the funds to buy in multiple times at the levels I'm comfortable with ($5-$10 MTTs).  People who satellite in are left with the same issues as if they won a ticket to a rebuy tourney.  But, the responsibility goes to the person who is in the satellite, not Full Tilt, not those who can afford to blow nearly $4K, know the rules before playing the game.  There's good (massive prize pools) and bad (elite players can play looser knowing they get more than one barrel), again know the rules and plan your game accordingly, for the record I had two entries of the 277 that signed up on Thursday night, one finished in 53rd after aces were cracked, the other won the whole thing.

Now after biscuits, gravy, chicken fried steak, gravy, homestyled potatoes, and you know it MORE GRAVY it was time to hit the road with the first stop at SkyZone.  After getting to the massive trampoline park we were greeted by a massive line of weird high school/toddlers mix and a clipboard stating the next jump time available was another hour and a half away.

No worries.

Quick dash home since my cell phone is the equivalent of something you'd see during a 80's John Hughes marathon on TMC and fired up the laptop to make reservations for later in the afternoon to give us time for a movie before playing dodgeball on trampolines with kids.  To my surprise the boy picked out Gnomeo and Juliet over MegaMind, after which I demanded he do two shots of Jack with me for manliness.  But the movie didn't start for an hour so we killed time at the local Dave and Busters where I refrained from a little hair of the dog and focused on winning enough prize tickets for the stuffed orange gorilla he wanted.

King Kong acquired and a Chipotle stop for more alcohol soaking goodness, this time wrapped a tortilla and smoothered with sour cream and pulled pork.

The movie did not disappoint as I managed to stay awake and enjoy it unlike last time while at the IMAX theater up in Duluth when I somehow fell asleep to the Dinosaurs documentary despite the volume going to 11. 

Finally, hopped up on excitement we got to strap-on the blue boots at SkyZone to jump around like an idiot for an hour.  I lasted 30 minutes as my knees and dignity quickly fell in short succession.  My son however bounced his way around, up and down, flipping into a foam pit, and taking a Globo Gym-esque sized shot to the mid-section (he would have a tear and beg to get into another game five minutes later).  For $12 and an hour it was an awesome value. Then it was homeward bound for a pizza picnic (THAT'S INDOORS BECAUSE MOTHER NATURE INSISTS ON FISTING MINNESOTA LIKE A FIVE DOLLAR HOOKER IN THE BACK ALLEY OF HENNEPIN AVENUE). 


I really hate snow.

Back to family time, and no I do not have Tourette's but would take every ounce of patience not to forearm shiver someone who is excited by the nearly two feet of snow we've received in the last two days. 



Find a three foot icicle and promptly fuck yourself.  After five months of winter "sick of it" doesn't cut it, swearing and drinking are my equalizers.

Ok.  Back to the family moment.

Pizza, yes.  Me and missus who returned home from their day and new nails enjoyed bacon, pineapple, black olives and pepperoni while the kids opted for just the pepperoni as we watched Despicable Me which despite a bad review from my sister-in-law was very watchable and I dare say funny.  Loved the The Godfather/head of horse scene that Gru gets after the girls are sent back to the orphanage.

Both promptly took to their beds while I barely remember getting into mine.  For one day, daddy didn't have to "get a paper done" or "work", no instead daddy got some time to refuel the parenting engine and let his kids know the real reason why he's behind that laptop all the time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wheaton's School of Hard Work


O Hai!

Not "back", just never gone and usually have my head stuffed in a textbook, directions on how to nuke dinner, or playing the ridiculously addicting Call of Duty:  Black Ops late at night.  Despite being a self-named gamer, I have never seriously played a first person shooter game since Castle Wolfenstein and even then it was nothing more than a fun diversion to my usual game playing on the Diablo series.

Well, I learned a lot in the past week.  Drinking a third of a handle of Captain Morgan in three hours almost proved disastrous as pictures have popped up from last weekend's ice fishing tournament that I have no memory of.  All I remember is laying down eating the best turkey and pepperjack cheese sandwich known to mankind while staring at the two moons of Mars, then waking up the next morning with thigh bruises, a hard hat, and a sore neck.  If I didn't know better I thought someone shipped me down to Key West for the night with a construction crew.

On the academic front, thanks to the readers here I have made peace with MR. APA with fifteen different letters after his name.  A little aside however as I was trying to understand his grading policy, I finally got him to admit what he was really looking for.  After asking about a course-long research paper and what the requirements were on length, girth, and thrusting motion he responded "I am not interested in the content, only want to see if it is in APA-approved formatting".


Jaw meet floor.

Yeah, my efforts to polish a paper to make these wingtips shine, I was being told to get my shinebox and stop fretting over a few sentences and just put them in the box correctly.  As I've repeated several times while going thru this academic journey to capture this allusive degree, my motivation is not the piece of paper (although its a nice side benefit much like getting paid to write about poker).  Its the learning.  I enjoy it.  For the years between being an eager corporate beaver looking to impress and bypassing those dark years of my head injury, leading to where today I refuse to sit around watching life go by any longer.  Wil Wheaton who is known to type readable words and make a funny via podcast once every era, recently felt the need to clarify calling out some slackers on twitter

"If high school was "boring" and college was "too hard", don't complain about your "dead end minimum wage" job, twentysomething."
And followed it up with this gem:

"On the other hand, if you're one of those kids who told me to go fuck myself, get off my lawn and go back to school. Work hard, because nothing worth doing is ever easy, and the more knowledge you have, the more options you have, so you won't have to spend your life in a dead end job that you hate. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. Maybe not now, maybe not in a year, but some time in the Mysterious Future when you're feeling cranky at the Damn Kids Today you'll be able to shake your cane at them with authority."

Bravo Mr. Wheaton, here's your shiny gold star and Magic: The Gathering 5,000 card set for $1,000,000 (but could you kick in the $14.99 for shipping and maybe the million as I'm $999,950.27 short) as you described my worthless ass a few years ago.  Unmotivated, unrewarded, looking for a hand-out, and not seeing what I had which was an incredible support system of friends and family and doing nothing by sitting on my ass singing "Nothing Else Matters" on repeat while plunking away at keys to whine about it.

Call it finding yourself, call it a revelation, call it admitting that your parents were right.  Just don't call it in anymore and try to make something of yourself if you don't like that person in the mirror.  And especially don't turn around to other to bitch about it, your self-motivation problems are not theirs.  I have found thru this blog and others I read on a daily basis that people are glad to help if you have a plan, a goal, an end-game.  No one is going to click that PayPal donation box if you don't write, why expect them to give a handout if your daily routine consist of sitting outside of a 7-11 ala Jay and Silent Bob wondering how you got there.

Bad luck happens, I know I've taken my share of bad variance, but I refuse to give up until my body can take no more.  Hopefully those twentysomethings Wil mentioned take a look at themselves, and notice there's a reason why he's got the cash (if you don't, I suggest going thru his blog's archives). 

It's called hard work (if you read his blog, my mind is BLOWN at how busy he is and that's coming from someone who starts his regular day at 4:30am and gets home from the library/kids activity at around 8:30pm).


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Using a frozen lake as a bar

I did not have my ear removed ala J. Paul Getty III.

I am not suffering from any lasting effects of a disease.  Unless you count immaturity as a bad pathogen, or this headache caused by a mix of lack of resting and mother nature forgetting to take her Midol.

Healthy and still kicking.  Busy and loving it.  Annoying giving the middle finger to an otherwise stressful time of year.  Talks of Brooklyn Center, a suburb near the border of Minneapolis, is perhaps diving into their biggest potential for tourism by molding city orgs to built a Surly Brew Pub and allow them to flourish versus continue being contained by restricted barrel laws.  At the moment the city's claim to any fame is a rotting mall called Brookdale, which as a kid I spent many a weekends there but now it is riddled with empty space getting emptier, the surrounding businesses like the bar on the southern side of the complex has changed hands more than a collection plate at church.  Surly is offering tourism, potential jobs (the awesomeness of being nearly require to drink on the job?), and most of all tax revenue.   Don't mess this one up BC, although my and my friend's wife joked they probably wouldn't see much of us if it is built.


Normally I take tonight to make an ass of myself online while giving away poker funds.  Tonight however due to tattooing APA-formatting tramp stamp style to my body and hoping to soak in the bibilography goodness via diffusion, it will be a night of killing online pixels via Call of Duty.  While my gaming chops are at an all-time low, the fun is needed to break up MR Jackhole's inevitible half-comments to my short four page research paper which sits neatly on a Microsoft Word document waiting to be to primped for the Sadie Hawkins dance.  There have been internal promises to read his grading with a bottle and shot glass nearby while reading phenomally bent prop betting stories like the one F-Train linked to last night concerning a huge running bet in which Ashton Griffin ran 70 miles in 24 hours for $300,000

I think Otis is off the hook for eating crayons now. STEAK AND EGGS BABY!!

Check back this weekend as Drizz goes ice fishing.  Kinda.  Actually I'm just out there to drink.  And not fall in, and spend most of my time in the heated fish houses which has the feel of being in a hot tub outdoors in the mountains but no swimsuits or boobs to ogle at. Imagining such shapes thru three inches of gore-tex is a bit of a stretch.

I will not be working this weekend, but last weekend's Sunday Warm-up had some heavy star power when four Team PokerStars pros were among the final 24 including Daniel Negreanu. But it would physist, metal rocker, and overall hottie newly minted Team PokerStars pro Liv Boeree taking home the $148K first prize after an aerial dogfight with James Mackey, you can check out my recap at the PokerStarsBlog or the video recap at PokerStars.TV

One of the bigger ones I've covered, hope I didn't screw it up.  Cheers to enjoying whatever and whomever fills your glass.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

I am not APA approved

Two of my friends are going thru two types of stress right now.  Mrs. Chako has quantity stress while the good doctor Chako tangles with quality stress.  Anyone would gladly take quantity over quality in this case as we're not talking about football or sex.

Being a busy person myself quantity stress is a part of my life now and will be until March of 2013 when I fly down to Florida to don a cap and gown, with probalities of trekking to Key West as a self-release from three years of work-schoo-familyl-work-school-me time-school type schedule and work myself into a rum-induced coma along Duval Street.

Unforunately, one of my professors continues to press quantity stress into quality stress with needling that irks my personality.  I am a firm believer in quality work, that if the product's quality outweighs a structured outline then it should be graded as such.  Not Mr. APA-jackhole.  Oh, the citations are super-neato spiffy now thanks to Lightning and his wife's suggestion (the citation creator on Microsoft Word worked like a charm THANKS!).

The assignment "Describe a personal situation in which YOU had to overcome cultural differences in communication".  Not a problem since my company merged some of its duties overseas and I have daily emails/calls/IMs from the crew across the Atlantic.  This interview-styled paper would be a snap.  Of course when I receive such papers back there's no mention of the quality, only the quantity has it has been for this quarter.

"You cannot use first person verse" was the only comment.

This is poo.

Thankfully Otis gave me a sample of writing from personal experience without using first person verse which I will be attempting to use for future assignments, but outside of Bobby Bracelet's third person mastery I was a bit stumped as to how to go about this.  It's a PERSONAL experience, not writing from someone else's experience and breaking down their prose.  Also, not one mention of the content.  It's almost as if the professor skims the paper (entirely possible) for APA-related errors and moves on.

I don't half-ass assignments, I write them as if someone is paying me to do so but if this is how the education system works (for this guy at least) and this professor is forcing me to play his game, so be it.  You will receive what you ask for:  robotic, monotone scribble BUT in perfect APA formatting.  Sir.

This is killing half the reason I returned to school. Yes, pretty paper with official seals and Dean of Whatsamatta U's signature on it is the end-game, but feeling good about the work produced, writing for a purpose much like I do on the weekends, is what I really wanted.  I gave up on floating thru the remainder of my breaths four years ago after hitting rock bottom for myself, my kids, and most of all my wife.  Sure days filled with a bland 9 to 5 job, Call of Duty, porn, alcohol, bars, and take out pints orange chicken with cream cheese wontons sounds great, but I wanted more and my friends and family deserve more.

And despite the professor's will to blacken my return to school, I'll play his game for now and prevent the quantity stress from becoming quality stress. 

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Bringing on the Pimp Hand

I'm going to be link happy today because well, I need to write for school and a side job for the walking party himself.

First off, Dr. Pauly steps over to Poker From the Rail at Full Tilt to give his thoughts on the summer festival of poker love otherwise know as the World Series of Poker.  Check it out here:  Dr. Pauly and the 2011 WSOP Schedule.

Next up Grange has been crushing the law books for humble folks like myself who want to know more about what roadblocks are ahead in this uphill battle for legal virtual felt poker on United States soil.  Read his latest:  The Intersection of Law and Online Poker - Personal Jurisdiction and feel your brain expand a bit in the process.  Do not however, follow his advice on NFL team teams to root for tomorrow ( NO PACK NO!!! ) nor how to play 58 offsuit in position (he will never live this down, until of course the Packers win tomorrow and we're forced to bow to Rodgers Nation and do the Raji for a year.)

If you don't read these two blogs already, I suggest stepping up your 9600 baud modem to something more modern.  Or zombies may eat you.  Hyperbole and a Half and The Bloggess think somewhere between the box, the moon, and that back corner seat of  a muni that no one sits in. 

Your humble writer blogger will be covering the Sunday Warm-up at PokerStarsBlog tomorrow during the Super Bowl but the peace and quiet will make up for missing out on my buddy's chili.

Have a great weekend folks and remember NO PACK NO!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mister Mister

I had my own DYKWTFIA moment the other day and frankly to throw in a movie line "I'm too old for this shit".

It was bound to happen and perhaps a few of you academically inclined people out there who stand in front of students giving your knowledge on a subject of choice, could tell me the right way of going about this:

The college I attend online suggest a website called Noodlebib to record all citations and give the wonderful people who teach us about the Nodes of Ranvier, Myelin sheath, and Schwann cells credit for their knowledge much like a picture on a blog.  For my first year I ran into zero problems using the site and getting credit for doing so.

Enter the crabby professor.

Yes, he had a bio page at least a page long that was filled with books released, academic titles unknown to myself and 99.9% of the world, awards, created cold fusion, and probably got a blowjob from Raquel Welsh in London during his wild and crazy days at Oxford while on a Fulbright scholarship.  Bravo.  *golf clap*


For the first five weeks of this class I get papers returned saying "not in APA format" as the only deduction in my grade.  In other words, the paper was fine but because I didn't use 13.75 Wing-Dings font and 5.29" indentations while using a school recommended website, I lost points.

I do not like this.  Again, 12 classes taken, zero problems.

So I type a quick email asking if he could point out the errors of the program so I appease his anal retentive ass.  I may have used other words after all this is a Professional Communications class.  I get the reply:

"I did not tell you to use Noodlebib, you are responsible for knowing how to use citations in APA format" signed MR. Johnson (bolded on the email as in DYKWTFIA!?!?).

Frankly, I don't care about the nit-picking (and I MAY have replied with his own assignment directions to use Noodlebib putting it in quotes, I heart pointing out things like that) and its bad because even in the corrected copy even he did not cite correctly, that's besides the point.  The point is the MR part as I started the email using his first name.  This is not high school, I pay to go to college, I am 36 years old and the last time I referred to a male as mister it was accepting my baseball letter from Osseo High School from Mr. Anderson (I think that was the coach's name) about 18 years ago as a 130 pound waif of a senior with a live arm, bad skin, and no self-respect.  For you professor and teacher types out there, and well anyone who enjoys "status", do you require or want to be called Ms. Mrs. Mr.? 

Now I have a big exception for Doctor, you earned that and fully deserve that in front of your name even after you're unable to solve the puzzle on Wheel of Fortune with all the letters turned over.  Mister is a title you get for having a dick or in this case being one, I suppose some doctors are dicks but they were not born with knowledge of the body and earned the title through a mountain of student loans, long study nights, and ramen noodles.

The question I have for the 20 or so people who probably know me personally, how does one respond so I don't have a big bullseye on my head for the remainder of the class?